The party headed upstairs through the secret door. The stairway led to a park, full of grass and trees -- to no one's surprise -- and a portal to the Feywild, which was a bit surprising. The real surprise came when Heyyou moved into the room to try to check if the portal was real -- a giant ghost ooze rose from the ground and attacked!
Celeste popped off a 'mass resistance' to necrotic damage, which did wonders for neutering the ghostly assailant -- it could still crush with its tentacles, but its mere presence was no longer draining. The party laid into it, awkwardly given the tight quarters bunched up at the stairwell, but were obviously going to eventually wear it down... until Heyyou went insane.
"The crown turned him evil!" Celeste warned, after the warforged spent a few rounds hacking up Beware and Varnix. It looked more like berzerk, since he was also attacking the ooze, though -- so the party tried to get the ooze between him and them. At which point, yes, it was 'evil', since he made sure to catch them even if it meant doing less damage to the ghost-ooze thing.
Meanwhile, the party had made its way past the ooze (mostly with various teleport abilities) and run into *another* monster -- a shambling mound shambled out of the far corner of the park! "Wait!" Ariel said, thankfully before anyone could attack the new threat, "It's a friend!"
The ooze and Heyyou both *really* hated the shambling mound, and changed their focus to go after it, while the rest of the party tried to finish off the ooze.
Tom: "This thing has a *lot* of hit points." He'd looked at the entry after rolling a 35 on the skill check to identify it.
Me: "Well, we're doing a lot of damage to it. I've done over 300 myself. Wait -- it's bloodied, right?"
Tom: "A *lot* of hit points."
In the end, Heyyou was eaten by the shambling mound, the ooze ran away when it got kind of low [I think it only had 200 or so hit points left our of its initial 1200], and the rest of the party was able to convince the shambling mound to not kill their friend, and instead let them remove the crown. Beware took it, managed not to be instantly turned evil(er), and put it in his bag of holding, insisting that he was the only one with the 'strength of will' to look after it. [he has the worst will defense of anyone in the party, except Heyyou]
Luckily, a little more exploration found (some treasure and) Darnath, the ghost who had the power to open the front door. Also, the power to remove the crown's curse from people. Also, lots of confusing exposition about what happened to *his* clan -- a rift to the shadowfell in the mine, an army of orcs and such, the 'root of the earth' that had to be protected and taken to a new keep set up for it. All 1000 year old news. Could any of it possibly be related to the recent troubles?
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